The technical and administrative work continues for this project, which is slowly leading to the monetization of the work we did in 2012. This will enable us to payback the money owed to the community and support further research into ocean conditions that will build on what we’ve learnt so far.
We have released our large body of ocean science data into the public domain where offshore marine scientists from around the world have assessed what we have achieved to date. A number of peer-reviewed papers have been published on our data and offshore work, all of them supportive. We have also filed certain patents to protect the value of this data to ensure the benefits come back to the community.
We are also in the process of assessing the impact we had from our offshore work on the salmon and fish stocks of Alaska, BC, and other west coast areas. We have been the catalyst of a wide range of discussion and ocean investigation into the effects and role of iron in the ocean environment. All of it has been positive and in fact there are more and more instances where it seems nature has taken advantage of sources of iron as the key to maintaining the health of our ocean biomass. In summary our project from the summer of 2012 in the Haida Eddy, produced the largest return of salmon to the northwest coast of North America on record. In addition there have been no discernible negative side effects, which mimic the situation in nature (volcanoes, dust storms etc.) where millions of tons of iron-laden dust enter the oceans every year with no known negative impacts.
In 2008 there was a volcano eruption-the Kasatochi volcano-that spread millions of tons of iron-laden dust across the Gulf of Alaska. This caused a plankton bloom that stretched from Anchorage Alaska to Seattle.
The above satellite images show the plankton bloom that resulted from this volcanic event. Two years later in 2010, the largest salmon run in the history of the Fraser River occurred where close to 40 million sockeye returned. This spurred us to mimic this process on a minute scale by spreading 120 tons of iron dust in the Haida Eddy, which is the bracketed area in the images above. Our plankton bloom was miniscule compared to the volcanic event but the results were equally spectacular with large healthy runs of salmon returning to several rivers in BC and Washington.